Tag Archives: animal fighting

Wishaw, North Lanarkshire: Conran Connor

#TheList badger baiter Conran Connor, born 01/12/1998, of 61 Gateside Road, Wishaw ML2 7SB – kept dogs for animal fighting

Conran Connor was jailed for 5 months after making three pets brutally attack badgers
Conran Connor was jailed for 5 months after making three pets brutally attack badgers

Conran Connor was sentenced to 21 weeks in prison and given a 15-year ban on owning and/or being in control of any animal after admitting to keeping and training his three dogs for animal fighting.

A Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries
A Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries

Connor was caught when a Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries consistent with being caused by badger baiting.
The dog’s injuries were so severe that he had to be put down by vets.

Knives were then found in Connor’s home with badger blood and DNA during a Scottish SPCA investigation.

The probe revealed Connor had direct links to badger baiting.

Wildlife abuser Conran Connor from Wishaw, Scotland

He dug up badger setts in woodland in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, in preparation for illegal and bloody fights where the animals are set upon by dogs.

Connor's dog had injuries consistent with animal fighting
Connor’s dog had injuries consistent with animal fighting

A Scottish SPCA undercover inspector said: “We became aware of Connor following an enquiry into an abandoned Patterdale terrier, found in the Carnwatch/Carluke area, which had injuries consistent with badger baiting and fighting.

“The dog had to be euthanised due to the extent of his injuries.

“Our investigation led to the home of Connor and with a warrant, we discovered evidence to suggest he was engaging in animal fighting.”

The inspector added: “We recovered proof that Connor had held conversations specific to purchasing dogs for, and discussing, animal fighting.

“Other items recovered from the house included numerous magazines and books relating specifically to hunting and fighting dogs with wild animals, hunting clothes, devices used to lure foxes called fox callers, a torch identical to one found during the excavation of a badger sett and knives, many of which were subsequently found to have badger blood and DNA.

“We were able to gather the DNA evidence thanks to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

“Multiple items found matched those in Connor’s possession of him posing with dead wild animals and his three dogs”.

Image recovered from badger baiter Conran Connor's phone showing him in a hole in the ground with his dog

The SIU inspector added: “Other images confirmed his presence at badger baiting sites and showed his own dogs at the entrance to a badger sett.

“There were also men digging into the ground at night in woodland. This is an activity carried out as part of the badger baiting process. Other pictures include a dog with injuries consistent with badger fighting.

“We welcome the sentence handed down to Connor. He engaged in depraved acts that showed his complete disregard for animal welfare.

“He caused extreme levels of suffering to the wild animals involved and put his three dogs at great risk of injury or death, and failed to get any veterinary treatment when they were injured.”

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity.

Sentencing: 21 weeks in prison. Banned from owning any animal for 15 years.

Scottish Sun
Motherwell Times
Scottish SPCA News

Millom, Cumbria: Stephen Carr

#TheList Stephen Carr, born 11/11/1986, of 10 Munroe Avenue, Millom LA18 5AL – failed to get veterinary care when two of his dogs suffered facial injuries consistent with wild animal fighting

Animal abuser Stephen Carr from Millom, Cumbria, UK
Stephen Carr, who has two young sons, brags about his lust for bloodsports on his Facebook page

Married father-of-two Carr pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering.

The court heard Cumbria Police executed a warrant at Carr’s home on August 14, 2019, accompanied by RSPCA officers.

Three dogs were found in kennels at the bottom of the garden, and two of them were found to have facial injuries

Abused dog Toby

A vet who examined Toby, a bull lurcher, found a lower lip laceration which was about a month old which was still healing and there was no sign of an attempt to repair it.

Boots, a Patterdale Terrier, was found to have an old ‘degloving injury’ on her jaw which was caused by ‘traumatic tearing forces’.

Patterdale terrier Boots suffered a degloving injury to her jaw and had facial scarring\
Patterdale terrier Boots suffered a degloving injury to her jaw and had facial scarring

The vet report said ‘these injuries are incredibly painful,’ and there was no evidence it had been treated and had instead been ‘left to heal’.

RSPCA Inspector Ian Briggs, said: “As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your pet gets vet treatment when they need it so they do not suffer.

“We are pleased that Boots, Toby and Blaze, will be looking for loving new homes soon.”

Animal abuser Stephen Carr from Millom, Cumbria, UK

Copeland Neighbourhood Police Officer Marie Carter said: “This is a welcome result which enforces the message that mistreatment or abuse of animals will not be tolerated and will result in robust action being taken. We continue to work with our partners in the RSPCA in order to bring these offenders to justice.

“Anyone with any information in relation to this type of offence is asked to contact Cumbria Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Sentencing: 12-week suspended prison; ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay £622. Disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years. Boots, Toby and a third dog Blaze are in RSPCA care and will be looking for new homes soon.

The Mail

Fleetwood, Lancashire: Jack Starkey

#TheList badger digger/baiter and bloodsports fanatic Jack Starkey, born 12/10/1990, of Bold Street, Fleetwood FY7

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Father-of-two Jack Starkey admitted two offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and one under the Animal Welfare Act.
He was due to stand trial for a number of offences under both Acts but pleaded guilty before the trial was set to commence.

Starkey was caught badger baiting in Bluebell Wood in Denton, Greater Manchester on January 3, 2019.

Two dog walkers came across Starkey and three other men digging a badger out of its sett. The men then let a dog attack it.

The walkers called police and a local animal welfare group, who found the badly injured badger.

The badger that was attacked by Jack Starkey's dog
The badger that was attacked by Jack Starkey’s dog

Sadly, the badger’s injuries were so serious he couldn’t be saved.

The following day, Chris Heyworth, an officer from the Special Operations Unit – a team of specialist officers tasked with investigating serious and organised animal crime such as animal fighting and wildlife offences – was contacted by Lancashire Badger Group who had been made aware of the incident.

Inspector Heyworth went to the scene, which was located just 70 yards from a road.

He said: “Unfortunately I’ve seen many disturbed badger setts and examples of badger digging in my 28 years as an RSPCA officer and it was clear this sett had been recently dug.

“In badger digging, a terrier is typically sent into the sett wearing a tracking collar and will corner the badger so the people above ground can dig them out.

“A large hole is dug – commonly referred to as a crowning point – and the badger is pulled out often by a large bull lurcher type dog.

“A seriously injured badger was discovered at the scene the previous day and taken to a vet but, sadly, had to be put to sleep due to the severity of the wounds.”

Information led to a suspect and the RSPCA approached Lancashire Police for assistance executing a warrant on February 12, 2019, at an address in Hodder Avenue, Fleetwood. Three dogs were found inside, two with extensive scarring and one with an open sore on his leg.

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Occupants at the address said the dogs belonged to Starkey and he was contacted for interview.

Inspector Heyworth added: “We took DNA swabs from the badger’s wounds and these were later compared with DNA taken from the three dogs seized from Mr Starkey.

“Two were ruled out but results showed that a rare type of DNA – found in only one in 100 dogs – which was found on the badger was also present in the third dog.”

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Starkey was charged with offences of attempting to kill a badger, digging a sett and causing suffering to one of the dogs in his care.

Starkey, who has links with the travelling community, eventually pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

The dogs remain in RSPCA care and will now be rehomed.

Inspector Heyworth added: “I’d like to thank Lancashire Police, Lancashire Badger Group, High Peak Badger Group and Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) for their assistance.

“It will send out a message to those who continue to persecute badgers within the county and further afield.”

Sentencing: 16-week suspended jail term; 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £1,115 costs. Banned from keeping dogs for eight years.

Blackpool Gazette
Lancashire Telegraph

Gainsborough, Lincolnshire: Ryan Smith

#TheList badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith, born 06/07/1993, of 3 Noel Street, Gainsborough DN21 2RY

Badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith from Gainsborough
Badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith from Gainsborough

Smith, who has previous convictions for violence and spent time in prison, pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett and attempting to kill a badger when he appeared before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how Smith was among three people who were spotted by a gamekeeper on land near Beckingham, Nottinghamshire.

Accomplices Dale Shields and Murphy Thorne were sentenced separately.

The gamekeeper suspected the trio were badger baiting – which is where a dog is sent into a sett to flush out the badger and attack it for the handler to then dig the badger out and kill it or take it away for it to be killed at a later date.

Police were alerted and Shields and Thorne were arrested close to the scene. Smith was arrested by police on the same day away from badger sett. He initially denied the offences but changed his plea ahead of a trial.

Officers found a six-foot hole had been dug into the badger sett and there were spades nearby. A net which is often used to capture badgers was also found.

Two dogs, wearing radio collars, were also seized and were taken to a nearby vets in Retford for treatment as they had facial and dental injuries. One dog was in a collapsed state at the scene due to exhaustion.

The RSPCA were alerted to the incident and inspector Keith Ellis began an investigation.

He called the help of an expert badger witness who said the badger sett was active and had been disturbed. No dead badger was recovered but Inspector Ellis said it is possible the badger had died in the sett.

A veterinary expert who examined both Patterdale Terriers said the facial wounds were consistent with them been involved in a fight with another animal of a similar size and stature.

Inspector Ellis said: “The gamekeeper said he could see the men jump into a six-foot hole which they had dug down into the badger sett so he called the police.

“When they attended the scene it was clear that the sett had been interfered with and there were spades nearby.

“The dogs were wearing radio-collars which are used so the owners can locate where they are underground and when the dogs locate the badger the handlers dig down and usually kill the badger.”

In mitigation, Smith said he had ‘tagged along with the other two’.

The forfeiture of the dogs into RSPCA care was ordered and both are doing well. They are due to be re-homed soon.

Sentencing: 18-week jail sentence suspended for two months; ordered to pay £415. Deprivation order on his dogs. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Gainsborough Standard

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire: Anthony Oakes

#TheList Anthony Steven John Oakes, born 08/09/1986, of 96 Edge Lane, Dewsbury WF12 0HB – left his dogs to suffer with serious facial injuries consistent with badger fighting.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight
Smirking and unremorseful animal abuser Anthony Oakes

Oakes, who together with partner Amy Lauren Auty, runs an outdoor clothing company called Oakes Outdoors Ltd, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the five dogs by failing to take them to a vet.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight

In February 2019, West Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA together executed two warrants in Dewsbury after intelligence was gathered about dogs being injured.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight

Five Patterdale terriers were found and seized from a property and all had serious injuries, mainly on their faces, consistent with badger baiting.

One of the dogs had a severely infected eye which had to be removed.

Sentencing: 200 hours of community service; fined £500. Disqualified from keeping dogs for two years. All five dogs were signed over to the RSPCA for rehoming.

Dewsbury Reporter

Ayr: Mark Cuthbert

#TheList Mark Cuthbert, born 07/03/1977, of 82 Thornyflat Place, Ayr KA8 0NE – set his dogs on wildlife including badgers; bought cats online to use as live bait for his dogs; failed to get vet treatment for his dogs’ fighting injuries

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

Mark Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs for the purpose of an animal fight and killing a cat at home and at another premises.

Cuthbert used the selling website Gumtree to purchase the cats – with many owners believing their animals were going to a safe home.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit (SIU) received intelligence in March 2018 that Cuthbert had dogs for animal fighting. The SIU obtained a warrant to search Cuthbert’s address and, upon inspection, found his pets had injuries consistent with animal fighting.

They also suspected he had been self-medicating his dogs to avoid drawing attention to his illegal activities.

Investigators seized an electronic device that contained video and images of animal fights. The clips included Cuthbert’s dogs killing badgers and domestic cats.

Objects in the footage matched animal fighting paraphernalia discovered at his home. Among the items seized were tracking collars, nets, live animal traps, syringes, superglue, and pet carriers.

DNA analysis of these supported the case that many of the items were used for animal fighting.

The dogs involved in the case were black and white Patterdale terrier, Billy, and two brown female Patterdale terriers known as Digger and Tally.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland pictured outside court
Coward: Mark Cuthbert pictured outside court

Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs, cats and a rat for an animal fight contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a), for procuring cats for the purpose of animal fighting and arranging, participating and causing animal fights to take place under Section 23 (2) of the Act.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

Commenting on the investigation and court case, a Scottish SPCA undercover special investigation unit (SIU) officer said, “This is a truly horrific case of animal cruelty, where we suspect dozens of animals have suffered mentally and physically at the hands of Mark Cuthbert. His inhumane treatment of animals is completely unacceptable.”

“We investigate reports of animal fights every week and the imagery and videos we discovered on his phone are some of the most depraved and upsetting we have seen. One harrowing video shows the three dogs attacking a domestic cat in a field which is fighting for its life. It’s clear the cat was caused horrendous suffering and many of the cats he purchased will have suffered long, torturous deaths.

“Cuthbert had been picking up the cats for his dogs to attack from the online selling site, Gumtree.

“After contacting Gumtree, we found correspondence between Cuthbert and people who had listed their cats on the site which led us to believe large numbers of cats were uplifted from pet owners who trusted their cats were going to a good, safe home.

“As well as the cats he purchased under false pretence, his own dogs have been treated appallingly. When we visited Cuthbert, two of his dogs had very obvious facial injuries and scars to the face, nose and jaw. Digger had a healed injury to the lower lip which had caused a v-shaped deformity and Billy was very aggressive when approached.

“If you are using an online service to find a new home for, or sell, your pet, please be vigilant and ensure your pet is going to a safe environment. If you are suspicious, do not continue with the sale and notify the Scottish SPCA as soon as possible.”

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity. All information shared with the Scottish SPCA can be treated with confidentiality and can be reported to the animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

Sentencing: ten months’ imprisonment. Ten-year ban on owning or keeping any animal.

Scottish SPCA News
STV News
Scottish Sun

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Additional information: Mark Cuthbert’s long-term live-in partner is Wendy McIlloney, born 28/02/1970. They have two older children together and she has others from previous relationships.

Wendy McIlloney
Mofher and grandmother Wendy McIlloney lives with convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert.

McIlloney makes no secret of the fact that she also enjoys hunting and neighbours have said that she accompanies Cuthbert on hunting/digging trips with their dogs.

Disturbingly, it is alleged that she procured cats on her boyfriend’s behalf. As yet, no charges have been levelled against McIIloney.

The pair are also backyard breeders of Staffies and lurcher-type dogs.

Gainsborough, Lincolnshire: Murphy Thorne and Dale Shields

#The List badger baiters Murphy James Ian Thorne, born 16/04/1997 of 5 Grey Street, Gainsborough DN21 2PS and Dale Shields, born 13/03/1997 of 3 Laburnum Avenue, Gainsborough DN21 1ET

Badger baiters Dale Shields (top right) and Murphy Thorne of Gainsborough and one of their injured dogs.
Badger baiters Dale Shields (top right) and Murphy Thorne of Gainsborough and one of their injured dogs.

Gainsborough men Murphy Thorne and Dale Shields pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett and attempting to kill a badger, when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how the pair were among three people who were spotted by a gamekeeper on land near Beckingham, Nottinghamshire, on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 3pm.

Badger baiter Dale Shields from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, UK.
Badger baiter Dale Shields from Gainsborough.

The gamekeeper suspected they were badger baiting – which is where a dog is sent into a sett to flush out the badger and attack it for the handler to then dig the badger out and kill it or take it away for it to be killed at a later date.

He alerted the police who arrested Thorne and Shields close to the scene and the court heard how Thorne told police: “I don’t get paid for doing it, but do it as a sport and it is something I enjoy”.

A six-foot hole had been dug into the badger sett and both men had spades. They also had a net which is often used to capture badgers.

Badger baiter Murphy Thorne from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire UK
Badger baiter Murphy Thorne

Two dogs, wearing radio collars, were also seized from the men by police and were taken to a nearby vets in Retford for treatment as they had facial and dental injuries. One dog was in a collapsed state at the scene due to exhaustion.

The RSPCA were alerted to the incident and inspector Keith Ellis began an investigation.

He called the help of an expert badger witness who said the badger sett was active and had been disturbed. No dead badger was recovered but Inspector Ellis said it is possible the badger had died in the sett.

A veterinary expert who examined both Patterdale Terriers said the facial wounds were consistent with them been involved in a fight with another animal of a similar size and stature.

Badger baiter Dale Shields from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, UK.
Badger baiter Dale Shields

Inspector Ellis said: “The gamekeeper said he could see the men jump into a six-foot hole which they had dug down into the badger sett so he called the police.

“When they attended the scene it was clear that the sett had been interfered with and there were spades nearby.

“The dogs were wearing radio-collars which are used so the owners can locate where they are underground and when the dogs locate the badger the handlers dig down and usually kill the badger.”

A third man, who was arrested by police on the same day, denied the offences and his trial will take place at a later date.

The forfeiture of the dogs to the RSPCA was ordered and the animal charity will re-home them.

Sentencing: 18-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months; ordered to each pay costs and charges totalling £415. Five-year ban on keeping dogs.

Gainsborough Standard

Greenock, Inverclyde: Patrick Carter

#TheList Patrick Carter, born 17/11/1999, of 30 Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 2NR – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.
Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.

Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.

The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.

Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.

One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.

In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.
Patrick Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his pets’ shocking injuries and instead proudly showed them off.

Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.

“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”

Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.

During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.

Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.

The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.

The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.

“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.

“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.

“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”

The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.

Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.

Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Sentencing: 225-hour community payback order; 6-month curfew; one-year’s supervision. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years.

Daily Record

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Alternative address for Patrick Carter: 80 Mackie Avenue, Port Glasgow PA14 5AY.

Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway: Liam Patterson

#TheList Liam Patterson, born c. 1993, of Eastfield Road, Dumfries DG1 – trained three dogs for animal fighting

Liam Patterson from Dumfries, Scotland, trained his dogs for fighting and kept a banned breed dog
It was said that Patterson had “a fascination, verging on obsession, with dog fighting”.

Liam Patterson was found in possession of videos on his personal devices showing his dogs fighting and being trained to fight. Dog fighting paraphernalia and photos were also found at his home.

Patterson pleaded guilty to training dogs for, causing and taking part in animal fighting. This is contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a) (2) (e).

He also admitted to being in possession of an American pit bull terrier which is a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Social media conversation between dog figher Liam Patterson and a friend in which he admits to setting his dog on a cat and taking her badger baiting ('pig' is slang for badger).
Social media conversation between Liam Patterson and a friend in which he admits to setting his dog on a cat and taking her badger baiting (‘pig’ is slang for badger).

Two of the dogs involved in the case were Staffordshire bull terriers named Zeus and Gucci and the American pit bull was called Bubba. All three were signed in to the care of the Scottish SPCA. Sadly Bubba had to be put to sleep because he was a banned breed.

Liam Patterson from Dumfries, Scotland, trained his dogs for fighting and kept a banned breed dog

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said, “We received information from the League Against Cruel Sports that Patterson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of dog fighting and currently had fighting dogs at his home address.

“The intelligence we received also stated there was dog fighting equipment, books and gear at his home address.

“Due to immediate concerns for the welfare of the dogs, we obtained a search warrant and gained entry to the property where we found the three dogs. All appeared to be in good body condition.

“At the location, we found numerous items relating to dog fighting including weighted collars which are used as a training aid to strengthen and build endurance.

“Multiple videos of his own dogs fighting were found on Patterson’s personal devices. In many, he can be heard shouting encouragement in the background. Other footage discovered included other, unknown, dogs fighting and dogs with injuries consistent with fighting.

“Other videos showed Gucci, Zeus and Bubba being put through a vigorous training regime in line with dog fighting practice.

“Messages were found between Patterson and an unknown individual discussing plans to attend and enter in dog fights and their dogs’ ability to fight to the death. Communication was also discovered outlining Patterson’s desire to buy and sell American pit bulls.

“Over the course of this investigation, it became clear that Patterson had a fascination, verging on obsession, with dog fighting and breeds relating to the American pit bull. How he could hold these dogs in such high regard and let them fight each other with little regard for their welfare is very difficult to comprehend.

“We are very pleased with the sentence that has been handed to Patterson and we hope this is seen as a deterrent to other, active dog fighters.

“Dog fighting is such a well-guarded and underground crime, it’s extremely difficult to detect and investigate. We are proud to be leading the way using intelligence and expertise to bring these people to justice.

“The Scottish SPCA Special Investigation Unit is dedicated to combatting animal fighting. If anyone has any information pertaining to individuals who are involved in this activity, we would urge them to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Martin Sims, director of investigations for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “We’re very proud that it was our intelligence work that has been the basis for this conviction, but what this case serves to show to the public is how abhorrent the world of dog fighting is and why the courts need to have more sentencing powers to properly punish those involved.

“In England and Wales legislation is moving through parliament to see maximum custodial sentences for animal cruelty increased from six months to five years, but we are today calling on the Scottish Parliament to stop consulting on increasing sentences for animal cruelty and get on with passing the legislation that will be a proper deterrent to people like Liam Patterson who inflict pain on animals just to make money.”

Sentencing: 300-hour community payback order; 162-day restriction of liberty order. Banned from owning a dog for 15 years.

Scottish SPCA news
BBC News

Hartlepool, County Durham: Shaun Brown

#TheList Shaun Brown, born 11/12/1990, formerly of Runciman Road, Hartlepool, and now of 3 Brenda Road, Hartlepool TS25 1QH- fifth member of a gang of badger baiters

Shaun Brown was the driver of gang of badger baiters with the other members – Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Connor Pounder and Daniel Joyce – all sentenced last month.

Jane Chadwick, prosecuting, said that when police, alerted by a member of the public, arrived at the sett in Hovingham, west of Malton, Brown tried to drive off but crashed and was arrested walking away from the scene with his dog beside him.

A second dog called Brock, which his co-accused put down the sett, was badly injured.

The other members of the Hartlepool-based badger baiting gang: clockwise from top left Clint Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder and Michael Dodd
The other members of the Hartlepool-based badger baiting gang: clockwise from top left Clint Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder and Michael Dodd

Brown pleaded guilty to digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett, causing unnecessary suffering to Brock the terrier, careless driving, driving without insurance and without a licence.

District judge Adrian Lower told him he may not have actually helped dig up the sett, or put Brock down it, but he was part of the badger baiting.

“You cannot pretend that you didn’t know what everyone else was going to do when you arrived in North Yorkshire.

“Nearly everyone apart from you and your companions would think that such behaviour is absolutely appalling and involves nothing less than the attempted torture of an animal that cannot properly defend itself against men and a terrier.”

Sentencing: six-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition he stays out of North Yorkshire and doesn’t associate with any other members of the gang. Banned from driving for 12 months; ordered to pay £368.02 towards the costs of treating and caring for the injured Brock, a £115 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

The district judge did not give Brown an animal ban. He said Brown’s dog was uninjured and did not appear to have been used for badger baiting, so he could keep her.

York Press